|American Family Foundation|
Reuters reported on the recent American Family Foundation meeting in Philadelphia.
"The American Family Foundation, the leading U.S. cult watchdog, wound up under the microscope itself this weekend, when members of the very sects it monitors decided to crash its three-day annual convention. About a dozen representatives of 'religious minorities' including the Unification Church and the Church of Scientology listened in on panel discussions about alleged cult practices, noted the testimony of former cult members and generally milled around on the conference floor.
"The foundation has no interest in whether cults believe in Jesus, Zen, vampires or ancient warrior spirits. Its stated mission instead is to report on the use of psychological manipulation and other control tactics which AFF officials say distinguish the estimated 3,000 to 5,000 cults now in existence from genuine religious sects. Much of the AFF's information comes from disgruntled cult members to whom it offers referral services. For that reason, many staff and volunteers are themselves former cult members or people with relatives involved in cults.
"The Rev. John Carmichael, president of the Church of Scientology of New York, accused the AFF of supplying cult deprogrammers with the intellectual justification for 'hate campaigns' against bona fide religious sects. 'This organization, since its inception, has provided the ideology and pseudo-science to justify violent attacks on religious minorities,' said Carmichael, whose group features regularly in the AFF's bimonthly 'Cult Observer' newsletter."
|American Psychiatric Association|
The Toronto Star reported that Scientology protested the American Psychiatric Association meeting this week.
"More than 15,000 psychiatrists from around the world are gathered at the Metro Convention Centre this week. Many were met yesterday by about 500 black-shirted protesters - many from the Church of Scientology - who chanted anti-psychiatric slogans."
"Deep Wog" and "Wulfen" reported on the counter protest held by Scientology critics.
"The CCHR are across the street is in a park. It begins quiet but 30 minutes they are all screaming and yelling their heads off. A repeating mantra again and again: (conductor) What does psychiatry (garbled)? (choir) Fraud, Waste, Patient Abuse. Flyers hand out slowly at first. Once the CCHR start up, they begin to sail out of our hands. Many a delegate, sporting camera equipment, come outside to watch the spectacle of a crowd of people chanting themselves into who knows what hypnotic state. The delegates received us well."
"People would walk up to Deep Wog and myself and ask if the people across the road were Scientologists. They also had questions about the slogans the Scientologists were shouting - about drugs, etc. At one point I found myself inside a group of MD's, explaining to them Scientology's stand on drugs. I pointed out that they were against psychiatric drugs of any kind. the question was asked, 'How about for epilepsy?' I reiterated my point, and said that no, drugs for epilepsy were not allowed in Scientology. The same question was asked about Schizophrenia, and I gave the same answer, with the caveat that Scientology is about helping the able to become more able, and wouldn't accept anyone with a psychiatric history in any event. I also mentioned the engram thing.. At that point they all took Lisa flyers and went into the convention."
Scientology attorney Kendrick Moxon threatened ex-member Charlotte Kates this week, accusing her of keeping a copy of the Philadelphia org's mailing list.
"At a time when you were acting for the Church of Scientology of Pennsylvania, you received a copy of the Church's mailing list of parishioners for the purpose of inputting it into a computer for the Church's use. Thereafter, you renounced membership in the Church, and purported to return the mailing list. This is to formally put you on notice that any retention of the mailing list constitutes theft, conversion and potentially other crimes and torts. Provision of the list or any part of it to third parties not authorized to receive the list also constitutes conversion, conspiracy and other crimes and torts."
News from Germany on the Scientology controversy there. From Hamburger Abendblatt:
"So-called sects and psycho-groups are, according to the Enquete Commission of the same name, not presently a danger for the nation and society at large in Germany. After the final report, which was published on Friday in Bonn, the Commission still pointed out individual groups with a high potential of political conflict. The Commission called for further surveillance of the Scientology organization by the Federal Office of Constitutional Protection. Scientology is said to be 'not a religious community, but a politically extremist endeavor.'"
"The Bavarian administration is intensifying its fight against Scientology. The cabinet in Munich will permit the continuation of the extensive study of the psycho-sect: four professors are supposed to research the methods of Scientology and their effects upon people up through the end of the year. The experts should, among other things, state whether 'illicit exploitation of the practice of healing' can be substantiated against the sect, and along with that, an offense of the medical laws."
From the Associated Press:
"According to new information gathered by the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior, the Scientology organization terrorizes critics by using wartime psychology methods, as had been previously used by the former secret police (Stasi). Besides that, the sect uses hypnotic techniques with which people can be involuntarily, ideologically manipulated. On Thursday, Secretary of the Interior Gunther Beckstein told reporters in Munich that Scientology has created a secret service which uses 'the dirtiest methods' of psychology as a weapon. The similarities to the battle psychology of the former East German State Security Service are overwhelming.
"In addition, the CSU politician [Beckstein] reported on terroristic measures being taken against Scientology critics, primarily in the USA. It is feared that the former chief of Scientology Hamburg at the time was called to account in America, and had to count on being tormented or receiving her 'marching orders to the prison camp.'"
News this week on Scientology in Austria. From Salzburger Nachrichten:
"Families Minister Martin Bartenstein wants to prevent the enlistment of members of the Scientology sect in sensitive areas of the civil service. 'If a Scientologist wants to enter the civil service, then it must be affirmed that he denies the teachings of Hubbard, the founder,' he said in an interview with the Monday news magazine, 'Profil.' This pertains mainly to the hiring of teachers and kindergarten workers, but it also to judges, attorneys and police. Scientology criticizes Bartenstein's requirement as a 'scandal,' and accused the Minister of conveying one of the opinions of the APA by putting 'people on drugs' with the help of his drug business. The Families Minister will lodge a complaint against the sect."
From Der Standard:
"On Wednesday, a parliamentary panel in Vienna on 'sects and psycho-cults', initiated by a fact-finding committee, discussed appropriate counter-measures. The head of the fact-finding committee, Josef Hochtl (OeVP), wants to establish special consumer protection in the psycho-market. 'New forms, which are know to us under the name of 'sects' have been showing up. Some are from the so-called psycho-market, others are from scurrilous presumed scientific-technical life and perceptions programs.' Consumers must be effectively protected in this area.
"Scientology, which has been leading a private war against the Families Minister for months, now wants to launch a second assault. The 'church' feels that its civil rights have been slighted by the parliamentary panel. [The 'church'] no longer accepts that Scientology members are to be 'stigmatized as second class people.' The speaker of Scientology Austria, Angelika Thonauer, wants to start proceedings against Families Minister Martin Bartenstein. Among other things, she would like to have the 'background of the Minister's opposition explained,' said Thonauer."
From Kleine Zeitung:
"Alarming facts about the activities of sects and psycho-cults were noted yesterday during an in camera Parliamentary inquiry. The German expert, Jurgen Keltsch, reported that Scientology maintains a camp for the re-education of members in the vicinity of Copenhagen. Yesterday Scientology announced a campaign against Families Minister Martin Bartenstein, who has consistently been warning about the dangers of this group that disguises itself as a religious community."
Scientology is moving to control the highway running through Gold Base near Hemet, California. Gold has been the site of protests by critics against the RPF. From the Riverside Press-Enterprise:
"The Church of Scientology is working with the state and the county on a plan to take over a strip of Highway 79 that runs through the church's film production complex. Golden Era Productions wants to plant trees and shrubs along the state highway and create landscaped center medians to cut down on noise from passing vehicles that disrupts recording. The project would cost between $500,000 and $600,000.
"The Riverside County Board of Supervisors earlier this month passed a resolution asking Caltrans and the state Transportation Commission to start the process of relinquishing two miles of the highway. Golden Era has agreed to assume its maintenance and liability. John Armas, deputy director of Riverside County's Transportation Department, said the request is on hold because it requires special legislation in Sacramento. Law prevents the state from giving up control of a highway that is not being replaced. 'The church isn't just going to get carte blanche to do whatever they want because it eventually will be a county road,' he said.
"In the meantime, Golden Era has received the go-ahead from the state to tear out a 12-foot-wide segment of the shoulder where the four-lane highway merges into two lanes on the eastern edge of the complex, Hoden said. The shoulder, which is not needed for traffic in that location, will be replaced with ground cover to serve as a noise buffer, he said."
Grady Ward continues to negotiate a settlement agreement with Scientology in his copyright violation case.
"Yesterday I met with representatives of the cult in the court of Hon. Jeremy Fogel, the newest District Judge in the Northern District of California. We were there purportedly to work out differences between our respective drafts of a settlement agreement based upon our understanding of settlement recitals made on May 12, 1998. He said that we were there to work out final details and if possible to finalize the settlement in writing. Secondly, he said that a point of law that I had made (Jeff D. v. Andrus) was indeed the law in this circuit with respect to the supreme court's admonition that District Judge can in no way alter settlements negotiated between parties. He went on to say that some of the remaining differences may very well shade into *material* differences.
"I did inform the Judge that I was not prepared to enter into an agreement on that day, but that even though a pro per, I wanted any agreement reduced to writing and signed before being bound by it. Hearing this, the Judge said that he then did not want to spend the time working out the differences in court given that we could not come to an agreement on the spot.
"Rosen had fedexed me a letter that he had hand-delivered to Judge Fogel the previous day. In it he mirepresented various of the terms of the proposed settlement agreement. The bottom line of the hearing is that while I believe that material elements have been left hanging by the parties, Judge Fogel said that he would prepare a draft of a settlement agreement based upon what he understood to be the agreed upon terms at the May 12 recitals. He said that there may exist a binding oral contract as of that meeting, but that he would have to study it. He then said that after he served the draft upon us in ten days, that we would have two weeks to make comments. He then would decide whether simply to interpret or implement a settlement agreement by Order, or whether to conclude that no enforceable agreement yet existed and that we were back at square one (no settlement)."
The Irish Times reported that the Irish prison system may begin an investigation of correspondence from Scientology as part of a review of prisoner rights.
"The annual report, sent to the Minister for Justice, Mr O'Donoghue, this week and seen by The Irish Times, says rape and sexual harassment are going unreported in prisons. It also calls on the Department to review the targeting of prisoners by a branch of the Church of Scientology, calling itself, this year. The letters, personally addressed to prisoners starting long sentences for sex offences and murder offer free 'correspondence courses' according to the head of the prison chaplains, Father Fergal MacDonagh. Prisoners starting long sentences were easy targets as they were vulnerable and isolated, Father MacDonagh said.
"One man sentenced for rape earlier this year received a letter three days after he was sentenced. 'I read about you in the newspaper,' the letter started. 'I am writing to you to introduce you to Criminon Ireland, a charity which aims to help people caught up in the penal system to take another look at life by learning about commonsense values as described in the non-religious booklet, The Way to Happiness, written by the American humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard, a copy of which I enclose.' The letter said the correspondence course would be 'absolutely free with no cost whatsoever to you as it is sponsored by individuals and businesses. Freepost envelopes are provided to send your lessons back.'"
The Irish Times: Prisons failing to prevent rape, says report
Scientology's Jive Aces band is being publicized at a book convention in Chicago this week. From a Scientology press release:
"It's the Jive Aces, serving as this year's official BookExpo America band (May 30-June 1) and promoting books by international best-selling author L. Ron Hubbard. The band's Chicago visit follows right on the heels of their performance as the official band for the 1998 Cannes Film Festival. The Jive Aces will open the BookExpo America each day. This is the country's largest gathering of publishers, booksellers and distributors, where millions of dollars of book orders are placed each year by bookstores from across the country.
"Pointing to the tremendous effect that Hubbard's books have had on their success -- both as a band and as individuals -- Ian Clarkson, the band leader, announced that they are now promoting a soon-to-be- released paperback by Hubbard titled 'Have You Lived Before This Life?' The book is a collection of case histories from people who have recalled earlier lives with remarkable detail and then demonstrated how this knowledge increased their spiritual awareness."
Former Scientologist and constant protester at the San Francisco org, Wayne Whitney died this week. Misti Reif wrote:
"I couldn't say anything at the time but they were beginning to pay him back. The SF Org gave back about 50k, but the mission was so poor that they were about 2 months behind in payments. He has made it a requirement in his will that this be pursued by someone. His sister who is big into COS actually was cut off of services after they started paying him back. But the SF Org was actually really trying to help him get the $$ back.
"I spent a Sunday with him about 2 weeks ago. He didn't look good at all, bloated, sore, tired, heavy breathing, but his spirits were very high. He was very accepting and organized about everything. He really was a nice guy and certainly didn't deserve this. He kept trying to make everyone else laugh no matter how bad it got."
Neal Hamel reported that Craig Miller, a former Scientologist and a.r.s poster, took his life this week.
"Craig was found dead in his home. He had taken his own life. Craig contributed a only few posts a year ago or so, and probably is not remembered by the people who read this newsgroup. Craig was one of the people who helped me see that homosexual 'orientation' was most probably biological in nature. You see, Craig spent at least $50,000 dollars at scientology's so-called technical headquarters in Clearwater trying to become a heterosexual so he could continue on in scientology. In scientology, homosexual activities are considered 'out-ethics' and people who are 'out-ethics' cannot get scientology services. Craig found out he had AIDS about 6 years ago and so he left work and did some travelling and even got around flying some ultra-light aircraft. However depression was a recurring problem as his physical condition varied. Eventually the depression overcame him and he's gone now. He was a good man who was a friend and who helped me many times and I will miss him."
Summary of picket activity this week, including several pickets held in memory of Wayne Whitney. Marcus Hill reported on a picket this week in Manchester, England.
"On Saturday 30th of May, a beautiful sunny afternoon, seven local SPs visited the org on Deansgate in Manchester, bearing only the bare minimum of picketing paraphenalia - some signs, a stack of flyers and some petition forms. Despite the fact that we had fewer than half as many picketers as last time, we did rather well - about 300 flyers distributed and 150 signatures collected.
"The police came out only once, asking us to keep the noise down because local office workers had complained. We got a lot of supportive comments again, including one person who stopped and asked to join us at the next picket. Towards the end of the picket, they put out their 'Free Personality Test'/ 'Free Stress Test' sign, and several people, including the couple who had been there for their first course, stood watching us from the Org doorway."
"Taniwha", on a memorial picket in San Francisco.
"Today we did our weekly picket at the San Francisco Org. This is the same place that Wayne Whitney picketed by himself for so long - we wore black arm bands in Wayne's memory. I'd always felt a bit guilty knowing Wayne was there by himself every weekend. I think that he found it empowering to go and stand there after his time inside, and I think it was part of his healing after leaving the cult. I also think that before ARS and the great upswelling of critics that it's produced he would not have been able to do that.
"We got almost 0 response from the Co$ this time - it was a bit windy for them to set up a table so we really didn't see much of the, we got the usual great response from the people in the street."
Ted Mayett, in Las Vegas.
"Farewell my cyber-friend Wayne Whitney, today was for you. The entire day was uneventful. No Police action at all, not even squad cars cruising by. None of the clams and I spoke with each other. However, one of them, a newbie, did laugh at me while she was leaving. So she will be gone soon.
"His life was gentle, and the elements in him were so mixed That all of Nature might stand up and say This was a man."
A report on the picket in Washington, DC.
"5 picketers on a Wayne Whitney picket took them by surprise on a gorgeous Saturday morning in Washington, D.C. On the Scientologist side, there was no counter-action. I saw what was probably an ethics officer doing his rounds, one of his assistants, and a sweet little Russian girl who tried to take my picture, but my sign kept on getting in her way. A young (Scientology?) lady saw I was holding up a picket sign in front of the 'church', and she may have actually read part of the sign, because she looked down at the ground quickly and looked real guilty. I felt sorry for her. I told her 'Flier, Miss?' She said, 'No, thank you.' That was probably the nicest thing anybody said to her all day."
Bruce Pettycrew on pickets in Arizona:
"Kathy and I were joined by Jeff Jacobsen from 10:00 to 11:00 this AM. Two incidents were especially interesting: A police squad car pulled into the parking lot, and I talked briefly with the officer. I explained what we were doing and why. As he left he commented (about free speech) 'That's what makes America great!' The second incident involved another car pulling into the lot and turning around. Then the driver rolled down his window and introduced himself as a German national who really appreciated what we were doing. I told him I agreed with the German government's refusal to grant scientology tax-free status, and wished our IRS had made the same assessment."
A fax from Valko & Associates regarding the Scientologist Online project, to put up thousands of nearly identical web pages for Scientology members, was posted to a.r.s this week.
"ATTENTION EVERYONE! We have some very special GAMES which you can be part of. Most of you have now been briefed on the importance of the SCIENTOLOGIST ONLINE PROGRAM and several have gotten 'On-line' yourself. You should also have been briefed on the fact that a new Sea Org Unit has been established to handle the E-mail for any Scientologist who does not yet have an E-mail address. It means that EVERYONE can be a Scientologist On-line--even if you have don't have a computer. Even children can be On-line (providing parental consent),as the more Scientologists communicating their wins from applying LRH's technology the better. The target is 2000 Scientologists On-line by the end of this week and 4000 Scientologists On-line by June 6th!
"The individual who gets the most people signed up for their Scientologist On-line program by June 6 will get a special award at the Flag Graduation following the Maiden Voyage. The FSM that signs up the most Flag public by June 6th for Scn On-line will be commended and receive a special award. All businesses that sign up all of their Scientology employees will be put on a Spcial Honor Roll to be announced and displayed at the Flag Graduation following the Maiden Voyage."
From a mailing to America Online users:
This is to inform you that all Scientologists are being asked to fill out the following information and get a site on line threw the Church. Your site will be set up with links to different Scientology Sites and related sites to make it easier for you as Scientologist to interest people in Scientology. For all those that have a site up reply that you do and if you are not going to be fsming on line tell me that also so I know who is and who is not so I know who to help with fsming in the FUTURE!
"Tell a short story about your self and how you got into Scientology. (This is so the new people reading this can find out about you and how you got into Scientology.) Write up what your success in Scientology is. (This is being written so a new person not familiar to Scientology will understand it)
"Natalia (FSM on line)"
|Tribute to Ron|
Deana Holmes announced that Scientology has completed a new web site, a tribute to L. Ron Hubbard.
"As far as I can tell, they're not linking to the buildings and stuff that the first version of the web page had discussed in comments. Here's the final product (version 3): http://tribute.lronhubbard.org I was just browsing around and I noticed on the Administration Accolade page the following tribute to LRH: 'One of the most brilliant men I have ever known: L. Ron Hubbard... loyal, honest and without peer in the art of getting things done swiftly.' -- Robert M. Ford, Washington State House of Representatives
"Here's what Bare Faced Messiah has to say about it, page 93: 'Ford was not the kind of man to be too bothered by protocol of paperwork. 'I don't know why Ron wanted the letter,' he said. 'I just gave him a letter head and said 'Hell, you're the writer, you write it!'"
Andreas Heldal-Lund reported that the Operation Clambake site was briefly closed this week following complaints from Scientology.
"Today Tabnet closed down Operation Clambake (www.xenu.net). Allegedly RTC has sent them a complaint about the 'Orientation Film 3' animated parody image. (yes, the one with the image of that naked space alien!) I suspect RTC didn't like me using their image of the the crossed out cross on the first slide.
"After some e-mails and phonecalls over the Atlantic, the page is now opened again. Not much success for RTC this time, just some hours downtime. They didn't contact me in advance, and instead of just closing one file, they closed the whole site."
The Orientation 3 Film
Karin Spaink reported on the trial of Zenon Panoussis, over distribution of Scientology's secret NOTS materials.
"Thomas M Small, from RTC, is called in to testify. A court interpreter translates his words for the judges. 'I compiled the agreement [between CST and RTC] before it was signed. This document was designed to give all rights to the Advanced Technology Scientology material outside the US to RTC. That includes the OTs and NOTS. The agreement was intended to transfer all intellectual copyrights. One part is the confidentiality of the documents and the other is the license. The protection of this confidential material is part of the contract. The license gives the right to use and make copies of the material. There's a provision in the agreement that RTC would protect these rights and, if necessary, sue infringements. They were granted the exclusive right to use the materials and they can sue on their own.
"Our turn to interrogate McShane. Zenon asks about Filbert and 'Excalibur Revisited'. 'Yes, I have read Mr. Filbert's book. It was never published. What he took from Mr. Hubbard is small and was taken from Mr. Hubbard's work. If you put those bits together, it's only a paragraph or two -- if you can put them together at all -- out of as many as two hundred pages.'
"'Can you study to become OT without the CoS's help?' Does CoS believe that only they, and no one else, can train people adequately to become OT? Yes, or no? 'Yes.'
"Since when was this massive security implemented? McShane: 'There has always been some, depending upon the available technical possibilities.' Zenon wants to know whether people had ever been allowed to take them home. 'People have never been allowed to bring them outside the church.'
"RTC has only demanded SEK 25.000 (USD 3.125) in damages and I have all along expected that it was with the backthought that by trying to win the entire amount, they could aim at hitting me much harder with legal costs. Fees SEK 4.500.000. Costs SEK 345.326. USD 562.500 and 43.000 respectively. I started to laugh. I tried to stop, to no avail. The amount is so absolutely ridiculous, so utterly absurd, so completely ludicrous, that you begin to wonder about your own sanity: no-one can be that insane as to ask for such a sum, therefore you must be hallucinating yourself. I looked up. The chairman was pronouncing the figures as if he was tasting every one of them and - first time - he had lost his stone face. A second judge had evidently a hard time to stop himself from looking too amused. RTC's costs for work and expenses: SEK 2.122.992 (USD 265.000). Legal opinions SEK 190.009 (USD 23.700). Notary public SEK 116.010 (USD 14.500). Witnesses SEK 181.115 (USD 22.600). Among them, Mikael Nystrom, the computer expert, was billed with SEK 17.000 (USD 2.125) for one hour on the stand. Grand sum SEK 7.684.581.
"As soon as the ruling comes, RTC will appeal against it. They are bound to lose on some point at least (if only on their amazing bill) and we all know they always appeal. In the meanwhile I have invited them to sue me in Holland."
A.r.s. Week in Review is put together by Rod Keller ©
This collection is organised for WWW by Andreas Heldal-Lund.
Only edits done by me is replacing word encapsuled in * or _ with bold and underscore, and made links into HTML.